If you run PsyToolkit on a Linux computer, you need to:

  • First install the PsyToolkit software

  • Learn on how to work with Linux

  • Learn on how to compile an experiment from the command line


You need to first install Linux, which is an operating system. If you do not know about this, you would need to learn that first. How difficult that is and how much fun you would have with that depends probably somewhat on your nerdiness. Most people that use Linux like computers and programming. If you think that is your thing, you can give it a try. If not, you can just stick with the browser-based PsyToolkit.

Learn how to work with Linux

Possibly you already know how to work with Linux. You can find excellent guidelines on the internet.

Compiling experiments

PsyToolkit comes with a number of detailed examples. You can copy these to your home directory and try out. The commands that you can use are the following:

  • psycc — this allows you to create an experiment from a PsyToolkit script

  • indentpsy — this allows you to tidy up your code, that is, it does the indentation for you

  • man psycc — gives you the manual page and shows the options

  • psyquest — a GTK based offline questionnaire presenter. Simple, but can do a variety of things. This is completely different from the online surveys.

Step for step preparation of an experiment on Linux

Compiling and running an experiment on Linux is simple, here are the involved steps:

  1. Create your .psy PsyToolkit code file, for example, simon.psy

  2. Create your stimuli and put them in the same folder or a sub-folder

  3. On the command line, type psycc -t simon.psy (change filename)

  4. Check that the compilation was successful (if there are errors, you will notice)

  5. Type ./experiment and the experiment should start

The command psycc has many options. On the command line, type psycc

Special devices

PsyToolkit for Linux supports a number of special devices, namely:

  • Cedrus USB keyboards (drivers needed, but they come with Linux by default)

  • Blackbox USB keyboard (no driver needed)

  • Measurement Computing IO boards (open source drivers needed)

  • Parallel port (driver provided with PsyToolkit)